03 Aug What bothers me with Cait Jenner
Former Olympic champion Bruce Jenner whose transition from male to female was officially unveiled in April 2015, has captured the world’s attention with awe.
I personally celebrate Bruce Jenner’s courage that at such a late stage in his life he was bale to embrace his true self and wants to share the story of his transformation. Despite my reservations about the show being a PR stunt and just another Kardashian-reality scripted sham, out of sheer curiosity I decided to look at her new docu-series, I Am Cait.
I was very disappointed with the content I have viewed so far.
For years I have been looking at transgender documentaries. They are nothing short of heartbreaking: people trapped in bodies they hate, the drug and alcohol abuse, the prostitution, the battle for estrogen hormone treatment and the abandonment by family and friends. Despite all of the negatives which can emerge from being transgender, these brave souls decided that they must at all costs embrace who they are and forge a path to change their sexual identity.
Now here comes Cait Jenner, the orchestrated poster child for the transgender community and whose transformation has been widely accepted by the world. I mean an unveiling in Vanity Fair and an Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2015 ESPY Awards are just too good to be true. It should be a momentous occasion for transgenders everywhere.
Cait Jenner while beautifully put together with the the best makeup, clothes and plastic surgery that money could buy, seemed lost as a female on the show. It was reported that she spent $4 million dollars for her transformation. In a girls’ get together with other transgender women, stories of being ostracized by loved ones and personal struggles to be accepted in the world, were shared by the guests. However, Cait’s biggest concern was how she can make her voice more feminine.
This brings me to my biggest grievance.
Being feminine does not equate makeup, luxury brands, stilettos and glamour. It has nothing to do with how you dress or look. Being feminine (or feminine energy) means compassion, empathy, giving, nurturing and intuitive. And it can also belong to both males and females.
I was under the impression that the reason one would want to be transgender is because they believe that they have more feminine or masculine energy and therefore would like their body to match how they feel on the inside.
Instead Cait and by extension her personal brand comes across as a plastic, bubble-head whose only concern is playing dressing up. This does a huge disservice to both the transgender and female communities. Once again being a woman is portrayed in a shallow light as if the essence of a woman is all wrapped up in the clothes she wears and how her hair looks.
I was hoping to meet the authentic Cait who was finally living her true self. Perhaps I was half-hoping that it was Bruce now in a dress. It seemed as though Cait doesn’t know who she is, what is her true personality and this may stem from the fact that she has been pretending her to be a man her entire life. Now she has to relearn herself as a woman and it shows that she has little sense of self.
I wish Cait the best in her journey as a woman and discovering her true self. Most of all, I hope she realises that the hair and makeup has very little to do with getting in touch with her feminine energy. If Cait remains true to what she says that speaking out about her story is about saving lives and helping transgender teenagers, she needs to not adopt a Kardashian-like persona. She needs to transcend the superficiality of what it means to be a woman, do the self work and show the world her authentic self, whoever that maybe.